Plans to create permanent memorial for bikers killed in crash underway

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PHOENIX – From a distance it looks like discarded laundry or maybe a camp site but it is actually a unique memorial to four motorcyclists killed by a dump truck driver at 27th Avenue and Carefree Highway in March.

The memorial keeps growing and it is even attracting worldwide attention. Janice Story says, “I can't explain it. I've never seen anything like it. It just really touches you.”

Hundreds of bandanas tied to a tree make up a makeshift memorial for the four motorcyclists killed and five injured at the intersection on March 25.

Story says, “Everyday early morning, middle of afternoon and night there's people standing out there by the tree and by the memorial.”

Rather than being bothered by it, the Walgreens has embraced it and the community, even providing space inside for both remembering the fallen riders and fundraising.

Story says, “I know the riders and their families really appreciate it.”

Bob Schiel, with Phoenix M.C. Kruzer’s, says, “They didn't do anything wrong.” Schiel says he believes a permanent memorial would remind other drivers to, “look keep an eye out for us, that's all we're asking.”

A block of granite has already been donated and a plan to preserve the bandanas is in place. Schiel says, “All these bandanas taken down and made into quilts.”

Those quilts will then be donated to the families and the survivors. Now friends and family are hoping to work with the city and Walgreens to make the memorial last.

Story says, “We'll support whatever the families want to do.”

The city has no record of any complaints and says this memorial, or any memorial, would only be a problem if it caused a visibility or safety issue.